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Spic vs. Stac and how long can someone play something

 
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riffwraith
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Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:23 pm    Post subject: Spic vs. Stac and how long can someone play something Reply with quote

Hi all.

I was hoping someone can enlighten me on something. I am a composer who does not play the violin, and have been working primarily with samples since I started. I am finally (and thankfully) able to work with real musicians. I have a couple of Qs about some music I have. Here is what the sheet music looks like:



and here is an mp3 for reference:

http://www.jeffreyhayat.com/vlntest.mp3

First off, I am wondering if I should have the players play that part as spic or stac. I know the difference between the two on paper, but not in practicality and the real world. Can stac even be played here? Or is spic the only possibility because of the tempo? If stac is possible, will there be a major difference between the two, or only slight? I know this is generally a subjective thing, but any idea what might be preferable?

Secondly, how long can a composer reasonably expect a pro player to play a line like that before the bowing arm is ready to fall off? Shocked Obviously it will vary, but I am looking for an estimate here. 1 min? 5 min?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, welcome to the forum.

This piece is too fast for stacatto. I would not quite call it spicatto either, since most types of stacatto(s) involve
the bow coming off the strings.

The basic detache bowing would be suitable here played closer to the stick's balance point.

Opinions will vary depending on where you go. However I often refer to this webpage that gives a short video
demonstration of each type of bowing technique.

http://www.siegelproductions.ca/calvinsieb/bow.htm
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riffwraith
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Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - thank you for the reply.

Those vids didnt really help, so I went to yt to try and find some there.... those werent too helpful either.

So, how would I mark that on the sheet music?

And how long can you reasonably expect someone to play that for?

Thanks!
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok...sorry those video clips were not helpful to you.

First of all, a good violinist can play this type of music for a very, VERY long time.

Take a look at this video clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wa4ny4xZAk OR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPRWshWq9E4

Even at the end, they don't seem tired and could go on and on.

As far a markings is concerned, you don't have to mark every note. You simply need to write the bowing style at the beginning of the score.

So for this piece, I would mark either sautille or detache over the first bar, more Detache, since Sautille is much, much faster.

Click here on here for another video of Detache bowing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SbJzpwve9M
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riffwraith
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Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool - that helps. Thanks!
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Will L
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Joined: 06 Mar 2011
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to compose well for any instrument, obviously the more familiar you are with it, the better. The bowed instruments are unique in that there are "standard" ways of using the bow that effect the quality of sound beyond the dynamic and length. So a good place for you to start would be to get such a book as the Ivan Galamian "Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching." He discusses all the bowings and how to execute them, and gives examples.

Although there may be arguments among violinists as to terminology, someone like Galamian is more likely to be universally accepted than a lot of others. He would say of staccato that it is an on-string bowing in which the bow makes a "consonant" attack and leaves a space between notes, and does not leave the string. And spiccato is where the bow comes down on the string then back up before the next note is played. Then there is sautille, in which the bow sounds and even looks like it is leaving the string, but it doesn't. It's almost a trick bowing but easily done by all professionals

At the speed of your example, a simple detache or sautille would work. A staccato would be possible but impractical and the spiccato next to impossible.

The understanding of bowings is a hallmark of fine composers, who either know what they were doing or are smart enough to find string players to advise them. Amateurs can be spotted easily by professional string players by how well the music is bowed and how the use of different bowings enhances the music.
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Lemuel
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 509
Location: Mt. Elgin, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post Will...thanks.
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KrisonStrings
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Riffwraith,

If I may offer my opinion, I would recommend going about it the other way. Find some youtube videos of violin spic and stac and decide which style fits better with the idea of the music in your head. Then write the notes to something playable in that style. If tempo is too fast for 16th note spics then try 8th note.

Hope that helps,
~Kris
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jackyjohnson
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Joined: 08 Dec 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wil. I'm having the same question Smile
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